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In The News @ The Masthead

Boaters Find Newest Portable Outboard Fuel Tanks Not All They're Cracked Up to Be: Installing Fuel-Demand Valve Wise Move:

by Northwest Boating Information on 07/01/15

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 30, 2015 – Owners with outboard powered boats have lived with portable fuel tanks for years, but recent well-intentioned efforts to stop smog-causing gas fumes from escaping by eliminating the familiar two-way vent is causing new concerns. Without a vent – typically a small screw type fixture on the tank’s cap or top – a portable tank can swell up like a balloon in the hot sun with the internal pressure forcing gas into the outboard where it can spew inside the cowling, eventually dribbling out. It’s a wise move to install an inexpensive fuel-demand valve in the fuel line that will prevent any gas from reaching the motor unless the motor calls for it, and BoatUS has a video and easy to follow instructions to show you how.

“Our members are telling us that the new tanks aren’t all they are cracked up to be,” said BoatUS Magazine Executive Editor Mike Vatalaro. “These new EPA compliant portable tanks and jerry jugs have special fittings that greatly reduce evaporative emissions from gasoline. But where traditional tanks simply vent to the atmosphere, the new tanks won’t vent until the internal pressure reaches five pounds per square inch. In the meantime, fuel could be forced up the fuel line into the outboard, many of which have no means to hold it back.”

“Leaving the tank disconnected just results in the same gush of gas once you do hook it up, either from the tank end or through the engine,” added Vatalaro. “Installing an inexpensive fuel-demand valve in the fuel line will prevent any gas from reaching the motor unless the motor calls for it.” The video and instructions can be viewed below.

The video was done in partnership with the American Boat & Yacht Council ( and is part of BoatUS Magazine’s Practical Boater series that offers skills building, techniques and best practices to get the most out of boating. Source: Boat U.S.


Seattle sailing tradition helps get everyone out on the water:

by Northwest Boating Information on 07/01/15

SEATTLE -- Look at any marina around the Puget Sound area and you'll see plenty of boats, but how often do they get used? In Seattle, there's a tradition that's getting sailors and their crew out on the water every Thursday. And if you haven't experienced it, now may be the perfect time to try.

Elliott Bay Marina hosts the Downtown Sailing Series for the sole purpose of getting people out there on the water.

"If you only take your boat out four weekends a year, then you're not really a safe person because you know you're just not comfortable," said Dwight Jones, general manager at the marina and co-founder of the series. "You get out every Thursday for 10 weeks, you're a much better boater and that's the whole idea."

Even though it starts at the marina, you don't have to keep a boat there to get involved. All sailboats are welcome; the skippers race around three different buoys, cruising from the marina to downtown Seattle, then back up to Magnolia.

"The sailors have gotten better, the boating, quality of boating, the safety, people have just become much better sailors," Jones said. "Because of this, everybody's just having a good time now instead of worrying about the rules of the road."

And this weekly sailing series is not just for boaters. Non-boaters can sign up for a chance to get on one of the boats. The Seattle Sailing Club sponsors a few boats each week that take guests on board, who can either choose to jump into action with the rest of the crew or just sit back and enjoy the ride.  

And of course, anyone and everyone should come check it out at least once from a land lover's perspective. All you need to do is choose your vantage point of Elliott Bay. You could pack a picnic lunch and hang out in a park on Queen Anne, the Magnolia bluff or down in Olympic Sculpture Park.

The series starts at 7 p.m. every Thursday through Aug. 6 and usually wraps up by 8 p.m. | Source: KOMO News


Jeppesen’s C-Map 4D Charts Now Compatible With New and Existing Raymarine MFDs and Dragonfly Chartplotters:

by Northwest Boating Information on 06/30/15

June 2015: Cape Cod, Mass.— Jeppesen’s C-MAP 4D electronic charts are now compatible with a range of new Raymarine multifunction displays (MFDs) and Dragonfly chartplotters, bringing trusted C-MAP data and a host of innovative features to a broad audience of boaters around the world. In addition to working with new-model Raymarine MFDs, C-MAP4D is also compatible with existing Raymarine MFDs sold after December 2011 (once owners take advantage of a free update to Raymarine’s latest LightHouse II software). This update is currently available through Raymarine’s website or through authorized Raymarine dealers.  View full story at Sea Magazine.


From beyond the NW: Lake Country B.C. > Video of boat removal.

by Northwest Boating Information on 06/30/15

ORIGINAL JUNE 22: Power boat run ashore.

Police in Lake Country are investigating the case of a power boat being run ashore in Okanagan Centre....

The 26-foot cabin cruiser was discovered grounded about 8:30 a.m., about 100 metres south of the Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour.

"The boat was run right out of the water and almost into the woods," said Lake Country Fire Chief Steve Windsor.

While RCMP say there is no indication at this point the boat was stolen, they have not been able to reach the registered owner, and Windsor said it is suspected the owner may not have been behind the wheel.

No one was in the boat when fire rescue arrived on scene; it appeared as if it had been abandoned.

RCMP spokesman Cpl. Joe Duncan said three people were witnessed walking away from the area and getting into a white truck, which then left the area.
Source: Kelowna News | link to story.

CLIPPER - AROUND THE WORLD race will stop in Seattle in 2016:

by Northwest Boating Information on 06/26/15

Seattle has been revealed as a new US host port in the Clipper 2015-16 Race at the end of the challenging 5,600 mile month-long North Pacific leg from Qingdao in China.

The race will reach Seattle in mid-April 2016 for the first time in our 19-year history. The fleet will be berthed in the city’s Bell Harbor Marina before setting off on the US Coast-to-Coast leg which will again conclude in New York City via the Panama Canal.

This is one of the biggest challenges of the natural world and an endurance test like no other. With no previous sailing experience necessary, it’s a record breaking 40,000 nautical mile race around the world on a 70-foot ocean racing yacht. All that is asked of participants is a good level of fitness, an age over 18 - and a thirst for adventure into the unknown. Divided into eight legs and 16 individual races, you can choose to complete the full circumnavigation or select individual legs. It is the only race in the world where the organisers supply a fleet of twelve identical racing yachts, each with a fully qualified skipper to safely guide the crew. Click here for race details.


Five pulled from Lake Washington after boats collide:

by Northwest Boating Information on 06/26/15

MERCER ISLAND, Wash. — Five people were rescued from Lake Washington after two boats collided near Mercer Island.

Police say a boat with five on board sank after it crashed into a fishing boat carrying two people at 12:30 a.m. Friday.

The crash occurred on the east side of Mercer Island between the island and Newcastle Beach Park.

The King County Sheriff’s Office chopper Guardian One illuminated the victims so police on rescue boats could retrieve the victims from the water.

They were treated for exposure but are otherwise fine. Water temperature overnight was 76 degrees. The two people on the fishing boat made it to shore. Source: KIRO 7 News.

Video of rescue:


Drought affecting how Corps officials manage Chittenden Locks:

by Northwest Boating Information on 06/24/15

Press Release - June 2015:
SEATTLE – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials anticipate Lake Washington’s level will drop below 20 feet this summer, the first time since October 1987, and are taking steps to conserve water during this year’s drought....

Current forecasts indicate the lake could drop below 20 feet by August with levels continuing to drop until September or October. A lake level drop to 19 feet or lower is possible given the extremely low inflows to the lake this year and recreation vessels should expect delays at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, or Ballard Locks as they are locally known.

The Corps is now maximizing lockage efficiency by increasing the number of recreational vessels in each locking and adding more recreational vessels with commercial vessels. By increasing the number of vessels for each locking, recreational vessels could experience up to one hour delays waiting for additional vessels to arrive. As lake levels change, additional measures could be implemented. View full press release here:


30 vessels lost in Narrows Marina fire:

by Northwest Boating Information on 06/21/15

TACOMA, Wash. -- Against the picture perfect backdrop of a spotless blue sky it rose to attention. Thick, black smoke seen from miles around.

From the U.S. Open gallery at Chambers Bay, to spectators out on the water and neighbors on shore, Saturday's fire was hard to miss.

The fire started around 4:45 Saturday afternoon. Tacoma Fire said quick action kept the flames from spreading to the rest of Narrows Marina.

Witnesses said the fire started in a locked building. 30 boats and other vessels were destroyed. Tacoma Fire said $4 million in damage was done. Source - KING 5 News.

Boat sinks to bottom of Andrews Bay on Lake Washington:

by Northwest Boating Information on 06/21/15

Seattle police say their harbor patrol unit was already nearby when a call came in alerting them to a sinking boat Saturday evening.

The U.S. Coast Guard says two people were escorted off the boat by the harbor patrol before they even touched water.

By 9 p.m., the boat had sunk to the bottom of Andrews Bay in Lake Washington by Seward Park. 

Seattle police say the boat will need to be recovered by a private company.  Source: KIRO TV.


Blocks & Cables left behind by Protest Barge removed from West Seattle Diving area off Alki:

by Northwest Boating Information on 06/20/15

Global Diving & Salvage safely and successfully removed debris from Cove 2 off Alki without causing any further damage to the dive park.

An environmental activist group moored a barge known as the Solar Pioneer in Alki Seacrest Park. In the process of mooring, the activist group dropped concrete blocks and thick steel mooring cables which damaged a popular underwater park known as Alki Cove 2. As the barge rose and fell with the tides, the steel mooring cables swept the area underneath, causing additional collateral damage to the marine environment as well as endangering recreational divers.

Royal Dutch Shell, Foss Maritime, and John Sellers (the operator of the Solar Pioneer), contributed to the financial costs in the cleanup effort and future restoration work. Source: West Seattle Blog.



Youth campers can learn to sail and kayak, hike through the forest at Sails and Trails Camp:

by Northwest Boating Information on 06/19/15

The second annual Sails and Trails Camp will give children ages 10-15 a chance to go fishing and hiking, and learn how to sail and kayak.

Point Defiance Marina and the Tacoma Youth Marine Center are partnering to offer the camp three times in July.

Mornings will be spent on the beach and in the forest of Point Defiance Park. The beach activities include a session on fishing regulations, fish identification and how to fish off a pier at Point Defiance Marina. Then staff-led hikes will take campers into the park along trails that meander through its old-growth forest, according to a Metro Parks Tacoma news release.
Source: Tacoma Tribune.


Take a Ride on the Historic Plover Ferry:

by Northwest Boating Information on 06/18/15

Beautifully refurbished and preserved by the nonprofit Drayton Harbor MaritimE, The Plove is a small, historic ferry that packs a big experience.

A ride on the Plover is one of those rare gems of an activity that is inexpensive, educational, suitable for all-ages and an exciting adventure. Who doesn’t love a ferry ride? The boat is small, holding about 20 passengers, but this makes for a rich interactive experience. The captain is readily available for conversation and information regarding the vessel and the area.View full story at Whatcom TALK.


Race to Alaska: Team Elsie Piddock takes the prize!:

by Northwest Boating Information on 06/18/15

The inaugural Race to Alaska on a boat with no motor has its first champion: Team Elsie Piddock.

The trimaran and crew of three checked in at Ketchikan, Alaska at 12:55 p.m. Friday, June 12, with an elapsed time on the water, from the June 4 start in Port Townsend, of five days, four hours and six minutes to cover about 750 miles.v

Team Elsie PiddockTeam Elsie Piddock F-25C trimaran clocked 4 hours and 11 minutes from Port Townsend to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada on June 4; and starting June 7, four days, 23 hours, and 55 minutes from Victoria to Ketchikan. The team led every day out of Victoria. View full story at ptleader.


Boat sinks at Shilshole Marina boat launch:

by Northwest Boating Information on 06/11/15

Late Tuesday night, a 30-foot boat sank at Shilshole Bay Marina boat launch. The Seattle Fire Department responded at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9 after reports of a boat that was taking on water.

Kyle Moore from Seattle Fire says when firefighters arrived, the bow of the boat had sunk to hit the approximately 6-foot bottom. Crews used prosser pumps to remove water from the vessel, but because the boat had sunk below the portals, the boat was not able to be pumped out. Moore says the Seattle Police Harbor Patrol Unit took command of the scene, and the Department of Ecology was on site to monitor any fuel spills. There were no injuries in the incident. Source: My Ballard.


Beyond the NW: Boat submerged by flash flooding at Lake Powell:

by Northwest Boating Information on 06/11/15

LAKE POWELL — A Price family was caught in a flash flood on Lake Powell and captured photos of the terrifying incident.

Dennis Slavensky said his family and several friends took a trip to Lake Powell on June 4. Slavensky said they checked the weather report before leaving Utah and saw there was a chance of scattered rain showers on Friday and Saturday, but there were no warnings of flooding. View full story at


Lakewood moorage redevelopment in Seattle on hold:

by Northwest Boating Information on 06/11/15

From KING 5 News | SEATTLE, Wash. -- The city of Seattle's parks department handed a small victory to a group of boat owners when it said it would wait before asking for bidders to redevelop Lakewood Moorage.

Lakewood Moorage is a small, low-key marina on Lake Washington with 40 slips available for public rent. (Although correction to report - marina offers over 80 slips)

The parks department plans to give the moorage a major overhaul by opening it to the public, equipping it with ADA access and even considering services like a public restaurant. The facility would be maintained by a private company, selected through a public bidding process. Upgrading the facility would cost $4 to $6 million, says parks department spokesman Christopher Williams.

Boat owners say the city really wants to raise prices and bring in yachts and other expensive boats in their place.


Hood Canal Crabbing will open in mid June this year:

by Northwest Boating Information on 06/11/15

State Fish and Wildlife has announced crab fishing will open in Hood Canal beginning Monday, June 15.

The original opening date was supposed to be July 2 when other areas in Puget Sound also open for crabbing.

Right now only southern Puget Sound south of the Narrows Bridge is open for crabbing, and some areas have been fairly good since the season began on June 1.

The daily limit is five male Dungeness crab, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6 ¼ inches. Anglers may also keep up to six red rock crab daily, and must be at least 5 inches across. Source: The Seattle Times.


New Director of Fleet/ Charters and Sales at Windworks Sailing Center:

by Northwest Boating Information on 06/11/15

We'd like to give a shout out to our buddy Colin Davidson, the new Director of Fleet/Charters and Sales at Windworks Sailing Center, Inc.

Congratulations Colin!


Port Townsend woman on first leg of 6,000 mile rowboat journey:

by Northwest Boating Information on 06/11/15

A Port Townsend woman is in the first leg of an incredible journey.

Sonya Baumstein is working to become the first woman to row from Japan to San Francisco.

Monday morning, she was off the coast of Chosi, Japan. She's hoping to finish the 6,000 mile journey by September.

She'll be alone in her 23-foot row boat for the entire journey with a support team monitoring her progress via GPS. Source: KIRO TV


Ceremony planned to celebrate the Coast Guard's transfer of the sand spit and lighthouse to the city:

by Northwest Boating Information on 06/05/15

Gig Harbor - On June 6, while hundreds of Gig Harbor families are reveling in Maritime Gig Festival activities, a smaller group of civic-minded citizens will gather on the sand spit at the mouth of the harbor to celebrate the transfer of ownership of the land from the U.S. Coast Guard to the City of Gig Harbor.

According to a press statement from the city, the sand spit became available last December when the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Marine Transportation Act of 2014 was passed by Congress. The Act included a provision transferring ownership of the property surrounding the lighthouse to the City of Gig Harbor. View full story at the Kitsap Sun.


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